It’s almost impossible to turn on the TV without stumbling upon a show featuring a buffoonish, overweight husband and his beautiful but domineering wife.
Sitcoms and reality shows both show this matrimonial setup where a less than intelligent husband spends an entire episode trying to do two things: avoid his wife’s nagging and have sex with her. His wife, meanwhile, spends the 30-minute show trying to trick her dumb husband into doing things while avoiding sex at all costs.
Now I’m not wishing for the June Cleaver days, but can this portrayal of modern marriage really be accurate?
Sadly, I know several couples that fit into this stereotype, although not to the laughable extent seen on television. Some men seem to spend their lives avoiding the nagging of their wives, who have become list-making taskmasters. My husband and I have even discussed how to avoid becoming such a couple because we know that in real life there’s no laugh track and no tidy resolution at the end of every 30 minutes.
So I’m wondering — which came first? Do these television shows reflect an accurate depiction of modern marriage wherein men are horny morons and women are frigid nags? Or are some real-life couples just falling into the trap of this media stereotype?
Either way, is there a way to avoid becoming one of these comically tragic couples?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a quick look:
According to Jim – Fat guy? Check. Skinny wife? Check. Marital mayhem? Guaranteed.
Everybody loves Raymond – It would be hard to find a better example than this show, which features a husband who is always lying and tricking his wife to get out of chores and to get her into bed. The wife, in turn, spends each episode mocking and belittling her husband.
The Simpsons – Yes, even in cartoon land, men are portrayed as fat and dumb while women are thin and in charge.